April 1, 2016 - No Comments!

Just in: The Final 6 Speakers Revealed


We received over 250 applicants this year, all of whom presented their ideas with energy and passion. Narrowing them down to 12 was really tough but after much deliberation and debate we managed and soon those twelve will be standing on our stage. We hope that you join us on April 23 at the York Theatre on Commercial Drive as our speakers share their Ideas Worth Spreading with friends and family, their community, and the world.

Here are the final 6 speakers for TEDxEastVan 2016 - ready to share their big ideas on the theme, “MOVE.”


Devon Boorman
Swordmaster. Dancer. Teacher.
Favourite TED Talk: Apollo Robbins’ “The Art of Misdirection.”.

Devon Boorman worked in a variety of jobs before finding his calling as the Master Instructor and Director of Academie Duello, the world’s largest centre for the practice of European swordplay and martial arts. For the past 12 years, he and his instructors have been working to revive the lost arts of the knight and nobles, including mastery of both hand to hand and mounted combat, as well as archery and wrestling. He’s currently exploring the nexus between physical and spiritual empowerment. He believes that through the exploration and mastery of movement, we can find mastery in the broader internal and external aspects of our lives.



Alexandra T. Greenhill
Physician. Change Agent. Futurist.
Favourite TED talk: Ken Robinson’s “Bring on the Revolution.”

Dr. Alexandra T. Greenhill is a an award-winning physician leader and startup CEO of mybesthelper.com. She completed her medical training in Montreal and spent two decades working on health care reform across Canada, her efforts recognised with the Queen Elizabeth II Medal of Service and Top 40 under 40. Intent on making the biggest impact possible, she came up with tech tools that would help people connect and support each other in real life. The innovative thinking behind this led to her company becoming the first to win the Cartier World Entrepreneur Award and spending time at the Blackbox / Google for Entrepreneurs accelerator.


Geoff Dembicki

Geoff Dembicki
Journalist. Author. Earth-Dweller.
Favourite TED Talk: Jonathan Haidt’s “How common threats can make common (political) ground.”

Originally from the suburbs of Edmonton, Alberta, Geoff Dembicki arrived in Vancouver by way of Carleton University’s Journalism program. He’s written for a variety of media outlets, such as Foreign Policy, Vice, Salon, Walrus and the Toronto Star and has been a staff writer for The Tyee for the last six years. He’s travelled to locales across the globe and experienced transformative change and movement from people wanting to make a difference in places such as Beijing, Hawaii, San Francisco, New York, and Paris.



Tima Kurdi
Syrian. Advocate. Aunt.
Favourite TED Talk:

A kurdish woman from Syria, Tima immigrated to Canada in 1992. A hairstylist by trade, she has supported her family back home in Syria. In September 2015, a personal tragedy struck Tima’s family - her brother, Abdullah, lost his wife, Rehanna, and two boys, Alan and Ghalib, while trying to cross from Turkey to Greece. The picture of Alan Kurdi lying on the beach woke up the world to the plight of the Syrian refugees escaping their country and brought international attention to the Syrian refugee crisis. Since then, Tima’s been speaking out to bring awareness to the reality of Syrian refugees in the hopes that this tragedy can be resolved.


Sam Wadsworth

Dr Sam Wadsworth
Inventor. Optimist. Partner.
Favourite TED Talk: Jill Bolte Taylor’s “My Stroke of Insight.”

Sam is a scientist, inventor, and entrepreneur. He completed his Ph.D. in respiratory cell biology in the UK before relocating to Vancouver in 2007 to work as an academic researcher at St. Paul’s Hospital. In 2013, Sam co-founded a biotechnology company that uses a unique bioprinting technology that has the potential to revolutionise how we treat disease and the ageing process. He sees a future where human tissues can be provided on demand, where donor organs are built, not harvested, and where drugs are tested on bioprinted artificial tissues, not animals.



Chief Dr. Robert Joseph

Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, O.B.C. is a true peace-builder whose life and work are examples of his personal commitment. A Hereditary Chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation, Chief Joseph has dedicated his life to bridging the differences brought about by intolerance, lack of understanding and racism at home and abroad. His insights into the destructive impacts these forces can have on peoples lives, families, and cultures were shaped by his experience with the Canadian Indian Residential School system. Chief Joseph is currently the Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada and a member of the National Assembly of First Nations Elders Council.  As one of the last few speakers of the Kwakwaka’wakw language, Chief Joseph is an eloquent and inspiring Ceremonial House Speaker. He shares his knowledge and wisdom in the Big House and as a Language Speaker with the University of British Columbia, an internationally recognized art curator and as co-author of “Down from the Shimmering Sky: Masks of the Northwest Coast”.

If you missed them, head over to check out the First Round of Speakers blog post HERE and if you don’t already have them, grab your tickets on our EventBrite site. Be sure to follow the fun on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Not to be forgotten - there will also be performances, workshops and activities for audience members to get involved in, as well as food and drink to keep your mind and body in tip top shape throughout the day.

March 23, 2016 - 1 comment.

Your TEDxEastVan Speakers are here!


You’ve all been waiting patiently for us to announce the speakers for TEDxEastVan 2016. While we thought of keeping them a secret until the day of the event, we’re so excited that we couldn’t keep it in any longer!

We think the speakers truly reflect the spirit of TED and of East Vancouver - as well as this year’s theme of “MOVE!” - and we can’t wait for them to share their ideas with you. So, without further ado, here’s the first round of speakers chosen to take the stage at the York Theatre on April 23rd.


Dominic Walliman
Physicist. Writer. Filmmaker.
Favourite Ted Talk: Sir Ken Robinson’s “Bring on the Learning Revolution!”

Dominic Walliman is a physicist, and award-winning science writer. He received his PhD in quantum device physics from the University of Birmingham and currently works at D-Wave Systems Inc., a quantum computing company in Vancouver. Dominic grew up reading science books and remembers vividly the excitement of discovering the mind-boggling explanations that science gives us about the Universe. If he can pass on this wonder and enjoyment to the next generation, he will consider it a job well done.



Barbara Alink
Inventor. Connector. Community Activist.
Favourite TED Talk: Alberto Cairo’s “There Are No Scraps of Men”

Barbara Alink, woodworker and architect, left the Netherlands for what grew into 10 years international reconstruction work. She felt locked up between the labels that were attached to all the rights western societies were proud of. She missed a sense of community and struck out to find a place where her soul could be free. She ended up in the seemingly harsh environments of Sudan and Afghanistan where she found honest and humble communities that were living in complete acceptance of life and death and the here and now. Back in the Western World since 2009, she now shares her experiences, creating awareness and insight into the devastating consequences of the denial of death and how we can come together, be inclusive, and create a safe community.



Christopher Bush
Catalyst. Father. BioResource Pioneer.
Favourite TED Talk: Dr. Saoud’s "More Crop Per Drop."

Chris started his life in a small farming town in Southern Ontario, and, like many country kids, couldn’t wait to get to the city. He knew for sure what he would be when he grew up - a race car driver.  When his family came apart at 16, he went out and made his own way. In 1990, he was part of a group invited to an event in British Columbia, and at the end of it he stayed out west. After years of going with the flow, life had him at quite a low point. A sudden succession of meeting people in the right place at the right time with the right message led to a radical turn and a change of life. He went on a mission to identify a path to personal success. Today, he is a sustainability pioneer who lives with his family in the self proclaimed agricultural capital of Canada, Abbotsford, BC.



Eyoälha Baker
Adventurer. Artist. Alchemist.
Favourite TED Talk: Thandie Newton’s “Embracing Otherness, Embracing Ourselves,” and Mark Brand’s “The Impact of an Unconventional Solution."

Eyoälha Baker is a photographer and muralist. Born on Canada’s West Coast, Eyoälha (Eee-YO-Lah) means the wind in the Kwakwa’ka’wakw (Kwakiutl) language. Traveling and living around the world has given her a great appreciation for cultural differences and human similarities. She has a BFA from Concordia University, a Diploma in Media Resources, and Studied International Business Management. After running a small interior decorating business and helping start up a furnishing rental business, she decided to follow her passion as a photographer. Eyoälha is a passionate advocate for supporting people with barriers in the DTES.



Paul Fijal
Adventurer. Social Entrepreneur. Outdoorsman.
Favourite TED Talk: Pico Iyer’s “The Art of Stillness.”

Paul Fijal is a young social entrepreneur and Lead Biomedical Engineer with Awake Labs, who provide personalized, quantified care solutions to people living with autism. He is also dedicated to growing Vancouver's reputation as a hub for social entrepreneurship and impact ventures. Paul is currently involved with the Coast Capital Savings Innovation Hub and is helping to bootstrap the brand new MedTech Development Hub at VGH with a group of young engineers and entrepreneurs. A Francophone originally from Calgary, Alberta, Paul graduated from the University of British Columbia with a BASc in Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical option, in May of 2015. He’s interested in new ventures focusing on social impact, as well as the biomedical and biotech industry. Paul also recently returned from a round-the-world trip through Indonesia, India, Central Asia, Russia, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia.



Edward Westerhuis
Creative. Performer. Collaborator.
Favourite TED Talk: Elizabeth Gilbert's “Your elusive creative genius”

Edward Westerhuis is visual artist and performer who often works collaboratively to build intersections between video and other art forms. His breakout work Sci-Fi Double Feature, produced by Ramshackle Theatre, showcases his talents as a writer, producer, and performer. Edward has toured this project across Canada, with performances at The Yukon Arts Centre, The Banff Centre, and National Arts Centre in Ottawa.


Stay tuned for part two of our speakers who are going to “move” you on April 23rd. Grab your tickets HERE to join in the experience.


March 17, 2016 - 1 comment.

This one’s for you

PicMonkey Collagem

TEDxEastVan is just over a month away! We’re hard at work behind the scenes, and as you can imagine, putting on an event of this calibre and magnitude is no easy feat. We’re a not-for-profit, solely volunteer-based organisation and time spent organising this event is time taken away from hanging with our families and friends after our regular day jobs.

So why do we do it? The simple answer: you. It’s you, the humans of East Van who inspire us every single day. It’s your stories, your courage, your never-say-die tenacity. You make up our very special East Van community and to get you all together in one place, on one day… you just know it’s going to be a very special event.

We’ve met so many wonderful people on the way and we’re thrilled to be able to turn the spotlight on you with our Humans of East Van series. We are regularly featuring East Van residents on our Instagram page, so head over there and send these awesome, regular folk some love.

And don’t forget to secure your tickets soon. We’ve been a sold-out event in the past, so there’s no time like now!